An Interview with Me, Dave Wiebe

by Dave

Although I've done some interviews, here is my first regarding computers. For those who would like to read, I thought I might share it on the sight since it won't be published online.

Q: How many years of experience do you have in building computers?
A: I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 years experience working with computers, both building and diagnosing them.

Q: Have you been called on to fix both prebuilt and ones that people have built themselves?
A: I’ve fixed a ton of different computers over the years, both prebuilt computers as well as custom built computers. Provided people have done their research, you’ll rarely need to repair a custom built computer.

Q: Have you had much luck finding a good prebuilt computer?
A: Over the years, I’ve noticed there are some brand name prebuilt computers that seem to stand the test of time better than others. Although I’d always tell someone to build their own computer first, if you must buy a prebuilt I’d go with Dell. As a matter of fact, when it comes to servers in business applications, larger businesses, I wouldn’t even build, I’d buy a Dell. The support is easily the best and they do pick good hardware.

Q: How much would it be to fix a prebuilt computer with an average problem?
A: Despite what people think, most of the time a computer problem has to do with the software, it’s rarely hardware. If you can fix the software yourself, it’s free. If there is a hardware problem with a computer, it’s usually $100 or close to it for hardware. Older RAM, a hard drive, power supply always seem to sit in that price range.

Q: Would it be less expensive to buy a computer or build one?
A: Strictly from a cost perspective, despite what the manufacturers would have you believe, building your own will save you quite a bit of money.

Q: How so?

A: I assume you’re referencing number 5 here, so I’ll answer that. The computer kit on my website called the March 2011 kit, is actually a computer I’m currently getting the parts for to build for myself. If you price out a kit with the same parts from Dell, you’ll get a total that’s about $750 more. Plus, I still don’t know if some of the Dell’s hardware is the same quality as the computer I built.

Q: What about having to deal with the manufacturers? Is it much of a problem?
A: I’ve never had any kind of a problem with manufacturers of hardware. If you explain the issue to them, what you did to test, they’ve always been more then happy to replace the hardware, even if they can’t replicate the problem.

Q: Is building a computer as easy as you make it out to be?
A: Building the computer is easy, some obviously would find it more challenging, but honestly, it only takes me about 20 minutes to put together a computer. A first timer will take between 4 and 8 hours depending on the level of patience. If you have a guide to follow like the site, you should be able to boot up in about 2 to 4 hours for the first time.

Q: What kinds of tools are needed?
A: A pair of pliers, a Phillips screwdriver. You’re good to go.

Q: What would be the best value site/company to buy a computer from?
A: For parts, I love NCIX or Tigerdirect. If you want to buy a prebuilt computer, I only recommend Dell. Laptops, I prefer Toshiba.

Q: Those are the only questions that I have. Again, thank you for your time.
A: You're welcome, I invite you to take the challenge and build your own computer, you’ll enjoy it, and years later, you’ll be surprised how long the computer will work reliably for you.

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